Dedeaux Road widening to start this summer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Dedeaux Road widening to start this summer

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

It has been seven years in the planning stage but work should begin this coming summer to start to widen the two lane section of Gulfport's Dedeaux Road. City officials said in the first phase, crews will work opposite ends of the road. Right now there's not enough money to expand about a mile of roadway in the middle.

When Gulfport starts buying the private property needed to turn Dedeaux Road into a five lane boulevard, officials said initially it will be only land and not homes. So while 30 property owners will have smaller yards they won't have to move.

Council Member R. Lee Flowers said, "I did not want to come out with this first phase and unload basically on these residents that live on the road and just uproot their lives without any warning."

"The most important thing for the city is that we've got to get all the property acquisition in a timely fashion to make sure that construction is not delayed," said Gulfport Assistant Attorney Chelsea Brannon 

Once construction starts crews will spend a year expanding from Cowan Lorraine Road west to the Fire Station and from Three Rivers Road east to DeDe Drive. The widening will include street lighting, a bike path and raised medians.

City Engineer Kris Riemann said, "As far as the center medians, that's a really comes down to safety. What we typically call a five lane section with a continuous left turn which is that open area in the middle, sometimes it's named the suicide lane. Because sometimes you don't know who is coming head on at you."

City officials say phase two would involve the remaining one mile of roadway and the purchase of homes. However, $12 million dollars is needed but so far hasn't been secured

"For a long time no one believed this project would ever happen. So they were reserving money and just holding it back and saying 'We're not going to give it to them'," said Flowers."It's happening now and we've seen that folks are interested in funding this and that's how we know phase two will happen. But we've got to be successful in phase one. "

City leaders encouraged people to get their own appraisals to make sure they get a fair price for their property. Officials say all property owners after receiving an offer from the city will have at least 30 days to make a decision.

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